Parish marks history

Sally Alden

The community of St Brigid’s Parish Quirindi has its own official Tartan. Created by Fred and Marie Lawson of ‘The Crofters Weaving Mill’ from the Spring Ridge area, the Tartan was sent to Scotland for official authorization, which it received last week.

The Parish commissioned a tartan from the talented mill to mark their upcoming triple celebrations due to take place in September.

“We wanted to create a material item of recognition of the ‘triple celebrations,” said Pat Perkins of the Parish.

The Tartan has been officially admitted into the Scottish Register of Tartan and now becomes part of the Parish history.

“The first tartan items to be made will become prizes for our fund raiser raffle, a knee rug, shawl and men’s tie,” continued Pat.

When weaving a tartan you are not just crossing threads.

“You are weaving a story, preserving a part of time to produce a specialty item,” said Weaver to the Queen, Fred Lawson of Crofters.

In earning his title Fred, was commissioned under secrecy by John Brumby, the then Premier of Victoria to make a knee rug in the State of Victoria’s tartan, which was the presented to a delighted Queen Elizabeth II.

Tartans are becoming world recognized symbols, much like a family name or crest, they are a language without words, with the colour pattern and thread count all having significant meaning.

“Every official tartan has a providence woven into it, which is the story behind why the tartan was created and what the tartan represents,” said Marie Lawson also of Crofters.

When creating the tartan, the Lawson’s united yellow, blue, royal blue, white, brown and black yarns into the St Brigid’s tartan design.

“The yellow represents the straw cross that the Patron Saint carried, the blue and white is the Catholic Women’s League and the brown and royal blue represent the Josephite Sisters who established a school in the area,” said Marie.

The St Brigid’s Parish and district are soon to celebrate their three important milestones in the history of Quirindi and surrounding towns and villages. Firstly, they will be celebrating 125 years since the inception of St Brigid’s Parish Quirindi of the Armidale Diocese.

“Prior to this time the district north of the Liverpool Range was part of the Maitland Diocese and the first Catholic Priest, Fr William Kerwick came to Wallabadah around 1875. The Parish centre was moved to Quirindi when the railway came through hence the beginning of St Brigid’s Parish in 1879. The Churches in the Parish around that time included Quirindi, Wallabadah, Willow Tree, Blackville, Ardglen, Werris Creek, Currabubula and Quipolly,” said Pat Perkins.

The Parish is also celebrating 126 years since the arrival in Quirindi of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart.

“The Bishop of Armidale, Bishop Torregiani, wrote to Mother Mary Mackillop (now Saint Mary of the Cross Mackillop) and asked her to provide four Sisters to establish a school here in Quirindi.”

The first convent school opened with 67 children in an old wooded building at the back of the present church building. Sister Geraldine Leahey was the last teaching Sister at St Joseph’s School 1995, but as Pastoral Carer for the Parish, Sister Therese Conroy proudly continues on the work of the Josephite Sisters.

The Parish is also commemorating 50 years since the Quirindi Branch of the Catholic Women’s League began in Quirindi.

“The League of Catholic women have proudly served their community as volunteers who aim to promote positive outcomes for women of today. They continue to work in their Parish and also areas of social justice, family welfare, assistance to schools and charity where needed,” continued Pat.

Community members can support the Parish celebrations, by attending events coordinated by the Parish on September 5 to 7.

St Josephs Primary School will be available for an Open House and walk through on Sunday September 7 from 9.00am to 10.30am.

“Everyone is then invited to support and take part in the Mass of Thanksgiving at 11.00am followed by Parish lunch.”

The Bishop of Armidale, Bishop Michael Kennedy, will be asked to bless a sample of the tartan with certificate of registration at the Thanksgiving Mass.

To find out more contact the Liverpool Plains Shire Council Visit Quirindi website.


Photograph supplied by St. Brigid’s Parish, Quirindi.

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